Grippos–The Perfect Potato Chip

If you don’t live in the tri-state area (Ohio, KY, IN), you’ve probably never had a Grippo BBQ potato chip. You are missing out. When you get a perfect bag, it’s bliss. I want to cram every one of those salted beauties into my mouth before someone else gets one. My brother actually has them shipped to Texas. They are tasty with a capital T.

Sometimes, though, you get a bad batch.

The seasoning is too heavy, the garlic/onion is over done. This is usually when they’ve loaded a new batch of seasoning to the machine. This means the bag is unedible and so will ever other bag you try to buy. The best thing to do is wait it out, about two to three weeks for the seasoning to even out.

These really are delicious, crunchy chips. Not too oily. They don’t smell of peanuts. They are addictive.

Mmm…I need a bag.

The BBQ are spectacular.  The plain are boring.  The Dill chips are just odd and hard to find.  But if you want a BBQ chip that isn’t too sweet (like Lays BBQ) or too hot like many other brands, this one will make you happy.  But don’t eat their plain chips, they are dull, dull, dull.

Published in: on June 8, 2009 at 9:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Baked Potato, Where Art Thou?

I love spuds.  You know, the tater, the grand potato, the ever-elegant potato chip.  I love potatoes in almost every form. 

French fries and baked potatoes are mmm good.  They are also non-essential carbs but worth it, if DONE CORRECTLY.   You would think french fries would be hard to screw up.  You’d be wrong.

The early french fry was a potato cut into slices and tossed into boiling hot oil and spattered with salt.  They had that smooth crunch on the outside, that fluffy white oh-mama-yes puff inside.  They were fabulous. 

They were so popular, people experimented.  Covering them in gooey cheese, sprinkling them with pepper, and god-forbid paprika.  Yes, someone tried to make me eat paprika fries.  Disgusting.  Then comes the subtle treachery.   The limp fries sitting under the heat lamps all day.  The health Nazi’s complain about the deep fry oil until it’s replaced with a veggie crisper mix that leaves a grainy lard taste to the outside of my fries.   Been to Burger King lately?  I’d rather lick the counter than eat their fries.  The new oil is repulsive.

Then, the resturants that claim to be ‘home-cookin” felt left out and came out with home-fries.  Home-fries are chopped up little squares of potato which have been fried on the grill with 10 other things and then served wilted.   Uber bland.

What I’d love to eat is some good fried potatoes.  Fried potatoes are not french fries and they are not home fries.  There are about 100 different versions of fried potatoes.  My SIL makes the best ones.  She slow steam fries them in pure bacon grease.  They have crunchy edges but are soft inside.  They taste of that perfect swirl of bacon and potato.  Like really great sex, even when you’re full, you don’t want to stop because it’s so good.  You’ll never see these potatoes in resturants because they aren’t good cold and don’t do well reheated.  The bacon grease, it’s your friend and your enemy. Plus, you’ll poop out your brains.  Still, it tastes good.

If you just want a plain old fry, may I suggest McDonalds.  On a good day, fresh from the fryer with a loving sprinkle of salt, their fries are a cheap, quick potato fix.  Don’t eat them cold.

Potatoes just aren’t all that good cold or reheated, no matter the form.

When I joined WW to lose weight, the leader (as in take me to yours) suggested replacing fries with a baked potato.  This is wonderful in theory.  Only you can’t get an edible baked potato in a fast food resturant.  You just can’t.   I eat my potato plain, maybe with a touch of salt or a dip of ketchup but no toppings.  This is why a Wendy’s baked potato is vile.

It’s been baked, microwaved, put under a heat lamp, and served.  This potato has no flavor, no hope.  If it were a movie, that potato would be the mindless zombie, hoping for a shovel to the head.  It’s bitter to the tongue, glassy to the eye.  It smells vaguely ‘green’ in a metallic way.  They taste like burnt paper.  Bad potato.

Steak resturants aren’t any better. They rely on the topings to cover up the heat lamp taste.  When it’s naked, there’s no chance of fooling me.  IF you want a good potato, believe it or not, go to Red Lobster. 

Red Lobster serves  small baked potatoes.  They soak them in a water overnight, salt them and slow bake them.  The small size assures that they get done all the way through.  The salt gives you texture and tang.   The skin is tender and tasty enough to eat.  My mouth is watering.   My computer may short out from all the moisture.

Sometime in the future, I have to tell you about my ideas on potato chips but tonight we’re out of time.

Eat something and be happy!

Published in: on June 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm  Comments (1)  
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Can I Have That Naked? Please? (Burgers)

Nothing should be simplier than an old-fashioned burger but people make it complicated.  First, you can’t just order a burger, you have to pick what kind of burger.  Beef, buffalo, ostrich, and this is just the first choice.

I suggest you pick beef or sirloin, these are the best two choices according to me.  And it is all about me, isn’t it?

Bison/buffalo though is rather dry because of the low-fat content but it is edible.  I suggest, and I rarely suggest this, put something damp on it, like ketchup.   Ostrich?  We are nothing even going there.  And chicken is not a burger, it’s a sandwich.  Big difference.

Okay, you picked your meat.  Then, the bun comes along.  It’s not just a bun anymore.  It’s a setting.  Seeded, non-seeded, toasted, white, wheat, oversized, undersized…etc.   Whatever your bread choice, the resturant will proudly spew loving words about what they suggest on their menu.  Most of that is crap. 

About 40% of the calories in your burger are coming from the bun. Yes, the bun.  So, is the bread that exciting now?  Personally, I just take the bread off and eat the meat plain.  If you don’t want do that and look weird, may I suggest throwing away the bottom part of your bun.  Take the top part, cut it in half and use the halves to cuddle your meat. If you have to cuddle it.  Honestly, it’s fine naked.

You have your meat and your bun.

Now, you can pick from the 83 possible toppings.   Ranch, BBQ, Special Sauce, Chipolte Sauce, Italian Sauce etc…  Remember, whatever you dump on your burger will cover up the meat taste.   You are paying 15 bucks for this burger at a nice resturant, don’t waste the meat.    Meat good…mmm.

You picked your meat, your bun, your toppings.  But you aren’t done yet.

Now, pick your cheese.  I’m lactose intolerant myself but you get to choose cheddar, mozzerella (or however you spell it), hot pepper cheese, or from a list of a dozen other cheeses.

Then, when that’s done, you pick the sides.

By then you’ll be exhausted from your choice selections, I suggest you lay across the table and sleep while your burger cools.

The meat is the best meat available. It’s probably Grade A USDA Angus beef.  Might even be Kobe beef.  Why mess it up with a pound of toppings and a dozen seasonings. 

Just order the damn thing naked and enjoy it. 

Burgers made simple.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 5:26 am  Comments (1)  


Yes, I admit it.  I’m a ketchup snob.

First, good ketchup is the perfect vegetable.  I know it’s made from tomatoes and tomatoes are really fruits but if the American government says ketchup is a veggie for schools, that’s good enough for me. 

The first rule for ketchup is that it’s edible on almost any meat.  I like it on steak, burgers, overcooked porkchops (really, it moistens them), and even chicken fingers.  Don’t you dare dump it on lobster or crab legs though.  If it is a sea floor crap sucker, it’s not a ketchup food. 

However, not all ketchup is created equal.

You can tell good ketchup by the color.  Dark ketchup, the color of shady brick is nearly inedible.  It’s bitter, watery, and disgusting.  This is the ketchup of choice at Mexican resturants.  The salsa guys who sell them their condiments don’t understand ketchup.  I guess it’s not a big part of Tex-Mex cooking.

Like some Italian pizza sauces, Mexican ketchup is lacking sugar.  The acidity is foul to a junk food junkie like myself.  I like my ketchup sweet, my meat burnt, and no butter on anything.  Actually, the perfect food comes in a paper bag through a drive through window with small perfect plastic baggies of ketchup.  Sweet, sweet ketchup…mmm.  McDonald’s guy, I think I love you.

Good ketchup is bright and cheery, the color of a bright red Christmas stocking.  It’s a happy color for happy hungry people.

When traveling to resturants, if you aren’t sure of the ketchup content, put a bottle in your purse.  Be prepared.  Could that many boy scouts be wrong? 

If the resturant doesn’t serve ketchup, do you really think you should be eating there?


Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 5:11 am  Leave a Comment  

Pizza, Home-made and Frozen

I like pizza.  Most people do.

But like any food, people can screw it up. 

First, anyone who tells you all pizza is the same is an idiot.  It varies greatly.   Some will tell you they like all brands of pizza, these people too are idiots. The world is full of idiots, you just get use to it.

Anyone who thinks a Totinos frozen pizzas are even close to real pizza goodness  must have lost his/her tastebuds in a tragic accident.  I feel sorry for them. Totinos are foul.  Edible under extreme duress only.  The good news about them is that they are a dollar.  Yep,  a dollar.  No one dollar pizza is wonderful.  The crust is flaky, almost like a flattened biscuit, the sauce is a bit sour, but the cheese is so-so.  If you cover it in your  own pepperoni and your own sauce, it gets a bit better but still not great.

DiGiorno’s frozen pizza is pretty good.  They have real honest to goodness cheese.  Now, I’m lactose intolerant so if I’m going to spend an hour bent over with cramps, I want it to be worth it.  They are worth it. The toppings are real meat and not plastic fakes.  The crust crisps up pretty well.  Its a nice frozen pizza.  As nice as a frozen pizza gets anyway.  Its like saying a girl is a real nice hooker.  You don’t know if its a compliment or not but it sounds pleasant.

Tony’s, Red Baron’s etc…fall some where between the two.  Not as gag inducing as Totinos but not as good as DiGiorno’s. 

One note of caution…never, ever eat a diet frozen microwave pizza (gagging).  These suck.  They really do.  I don’t care how much you lie to yourself, that is not good pizza.  It is not close to good pizza.  Pizza doesn’t microwave well.  People who eat everything out of the microwave might as well eat the cardboard box, it’d taste almost as good.

If you want low-fat pizza, make your own.  Lord knows there are a dozen ways to make it with less calories and more taste.

I told myself I wouldn’t do this.  I actually wrote myself a note.  No recipes in the blog.  No freakin’ recipes in the blog…but do I listen?  No, I never do.

The two easiest homemade low-fat pizzas to make are the BOBOLI LAZY PIZZA and the Tortilla pizza.

If you are like me, if you have to spend more than ten minutes cooking it then you’d rather eat potato chips out of the bag, this is the home-made pizza recipe for you.

Get a BOBOLI Pizza Crust, THIN VERSION.  These are pre-baked. Yes, a pre-baked pizza crust.  Genius.  They are usually in most groceries stores, hidden away.  If you have a Kroger’s, they are usually in the pizza sauce aisle next to the Tortilla/Salsa display.  I don’t know why; I don’t work in Kroger’s marketing department.  The exception is the Kroger on Mall Road in Florence, Ky.  They hide there crusts and don’t carry the thin version.  Silly bunnies.

Cut crust into 8 pieces.  Whole crust is 17 Weight Watcher’s Points.  And no, you shouldn’t eat the whole thing.

Buy the Kroger Pepperoni Pizza Sauce.  It’s cheap, it tastes good.  Its a bit on the sweet side as sauces go.  There are two main thoughts on pizza sauces, classic sour or new sweet.  I like sweet.  If you want sour, may I suggest a jaunt through Italy?  Tomato sauces need sugar to cut the acidity. A little sauce goes a long way.  For one WW point, you should more than enough to cover your pizza.

I buy the Hormel Turkey Pepperoni.  Okay, it isn’t as good as regular pepperoni.  I could blow smoke up your butt and tell you that it is but it isn’t.  But it is about 85% the same and hidden in the pizza toppings, I can live with that.  But for some reason, it smells a bit like  licorice when you open the bag.  I have no idea why.  The smell goes away when you cook it.  I use 18 pieces.  Two WW Points.

For the love of GOD, use real cheese.  Fat-free cheese sucks donkey toes.  Admit it, you’d rather have real cheese.  Some things aren’t worth skimping on such as a good divorce attorney.   All dairy products make me sick, but with pills I can tolerate small doses.  So, I use real cheese, about 1/4 cup.  I know it doesn’t sound like a lot but how much cheese do you need?   2 Points

Bake the whole think at 450 degrees.  It’s done in about 8 minutes so don’t dawdle.  Serves 8 slices at about 3 points per slice.  You can add veggies.  I don’t recommend it but you can.  People always try to sneak in the veggies.  It’s a sickness.

You can add two more points of extras if you want, more cheese, more pepperoni, even god-forsaken mushrooms.  The total pizza averages between 22 and 24 points on Weight Watchers.  You shouldn’t eat the whole thing.  I do but you shouldn’t.  Show some self-restraint (giggles at the thought).

The good things about this pizza is that the crust is pre-done so if you only want one piece of pizza, get out your scizzors, cut out a triangle of crust, make one slice, and eat.  The rest of the pizza dough circle can be taped shut and eaten later.  Don’t you love duct tape?

This pizza from start to finish takes like 8 minutes and that is if you take your time and make it pretty.  Use paper plates and you won’t have any dishes besides a spoon for the sauce and the pizza pan.  The pan isn’t even damp because you don’t need to spray it.  The crust is pre-done…no oil required.  I’m giddy at the thought.

Oh, I forgot the tortilla pizzas. First of all use flour tortillas.  Corn tortillas are not for pizza.  And if you even whisper wheat, I will hunt you down and force feed you cod liver oil.  Wheat pizza crust…oh my…all that fiber.  Makes me want to take a crap to think about it. 

Take your tortilla pizza crust, spritz it with 0 calorie oil spray.  Don’t have any, rub it with some butter, adds calories but you should have bought some 0 calorie spray.  The stuff never goes bad.  Its like sour candy, good forever.

Pop it in the oven, on 400 degrees.  Get it a litte brown.  Take out of the oven.  Use an oven glove, balled up t-shirt, old boxer shorts to protect your fingers.  I forgot to tell you earlier, the pan gets hot in the oven.  Be careful. Now, you’ll sue me for blistered fingers.  Save me from America.

Okay, now add sauce, turkey pepperoni, and cheese, pop back into the oven.  Don’t worry about the tortilla bubbling up or getting stiff, this is perfectly normal.  That sounded dirty. I didn’t mean for it to sound dirty.  Just ignore that.  But it is normal.  The crust browns and bakes super fast.  You are done in less that  7 minutes from start to finish.

Eat it. Its reasonable tasting, the calories are good.  Does it taste like Pizza Hut?  No, but it does the job.

Okay now I’ve got to make dinner.  Anything but pizza, I’m sick of talking about it.

Sometime in the future, we’ll talk about delivery pizza and how Pizza Hut ruined a sure thing.

Published in: on August 20, 2008 at 12:10 am  Comments (2)  

The Pickiest Eater In The World

Okay, perhaps pickiest eater in the world is pushing it but I’m definitely in the top ten.  I’m a chubby girl who doesn’t like food but who does love to eat.  After hearing my daily rants on why something tastes bad over the years, my good friend, Heather, suggested I write a blog on what does and doesn’t work for me food-wise.

Plus, she thought it hilarious when I started Weight Watchers, when I detested salads.  I will never eat salad.  I don’t like salad.  Salad is not a friggin’ meal.  I don’t feel fulfilled when someone sends me a cheesy bowl of lettuce covered in drippy sauce and stale bread.  Ugh, no thanks.

The first time I did Weight Watchers, I lost 90 pounds.  Yes, 90 pounds and I didn’t eat one salad, not one.  I did fall off the wagon for a bit, went back to eating my favorite, potato chips, and gained a large portion of my weight back.  Not all of it, thank God, but a chunk of it.  So now I’m back in WW and the new leader is salad this, salad that.  Carrots for a snack.  What normal, non-anorexic person eats carrots for a snack? 

My last leader told us to only make changes you can live with.  That’s my goal this time, changes I can live with.  So, screw salads for lunch.   Just the thought makes me want to start purging so I can get a chunk of nice, well-cooked meat.

Yes, meat.

I know the vegetarians are cringing.  I have a few vegan friends, I  understand the idea behind the thought.  But have you ever met a chicken?  A live chicken?  There is nothing noble about an animal that walks on its own crap, poops in its own food, and will try to peck out your eyes with very little provocation.  Geez, I only walked through the yard.

Not only are the mean and dirty, they are ever so slightly stupid. So while I don’t relish the idea of killing one, I don’t mind eating one as long as it was killed humanely, and massively disinfected.

I guess that’s what the cannibals would say about the missionaries but its all I can give you.  I like meat, so I eat meat.

Now, back to eating chicken.  Grilled or baked chicken in restaurants is always a nightmare for me.  Like pork, chicken asorbs the flavors of what you cook with it.  So restaurants cover it in lemon, powder it with pepper, rub it in non-disclosed seasonings, or kill it with garlic.

I like chicken.  I don’t want to taste the seasonings.  I didn’t order a plate of garlic and pepper. I ordered chicken and that is what I want.  Restaurants also want their chicken to be ‘tender’ and ‘juicy’.  I’m shuddering now.  If I don’t need a knife to cut it, then it isn’t cooked long enough.  Anyone who has had food poisoning and vomited from both ends, knows that tender meat is scary.    If you cut into the chicken breast, and juice pops out like you stabbed a juice box, put the damn thing back on the grill.

So to get around this, I don’t ordered grilled or baked chicken in resturants.  I save that for when I’m cooking at home and I can cut the meat into tiny pieces to inspect it for pinkness.  I order my chicken in fingers.  Tacky, I know.  Classless even, but the great thing about chicken fingers is that a person can cut it up with  their fork and see each piece of perfectly white meat. 

Although, I will warn you, never, ever order chicken fingers off the kid’s menu unless you’ve seen them first.  Compressed meat is a favorite of kid’s menus.  Compressed meat is when the regular meat packing plant has scraped all the meat it can from the chicken bones.  The bits it can’t use are then scooped up, packed into patties or fingers, dipped in batter, and sold to kids everywhere.  These are one of the foulest things you will ever eat.  Some of them are GRAY inside.   The meat is GRAY.   This is not the chicken finger you want.

You want a finger that when you pull it apart, you see long strips of real chicken breast, beautifully white.  The meat should tear in strips.  This is real chicken breast.  If it looks uniform inside, push your plate away or push out a couple of kids to eat it for you.

Another consideration of the chicken finger, over-breading.  Some places feel that they have to make the chicken seem larger by dipping it in 4 pounds of beer batter.  Ugh.  I shouldn’t need a chisel to get to the good stuff.   Second, the batter shouldn’t never stain the meat.  If it turns your meat funny colors, just say no.  Sorry Popeye’s, the yellow is hard for me to look past.

Others get carried away with the pepper.  Some pepper is good, just a dash of that and salt in the crunchy batter makes you go MMMM.  To much and that’s all you taste. 

Others have the opposite problem.  Blandness.  The batter has no flavor at all, the chicken is tasteless, almost rubbery.

Longhorn Steakhouse has good chicken fingers most of the time.  Just enough seasoning for flavor, the chicken is from the breast, and they have a hearty portion that will fill you up.  Those of you on WW, they are about 3pts a finger so eat carefully, okay?

Another bonus is that Longhorns has a decent baked potato.  I hate a shitty potato.  But I will talk about that next week.

So the pickiest eater in the world is signing out.

Good luck and good eating and remember…don’t take a finger from just anyone.

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 1:39 am  Comments (4)  
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